Best Bar Blog

How Best Bar None Exported to Canada

History of Best Bar None

Just like English pubs, Boxing Day and using the word “zed” instead of “zee”, Best Bar None was created in the United Kingdom and exported to Canada.

The program was piloted in Manchester in 2003 by police looking for a more innovative and collaborative way to work with bars, pubs and nightclubs to prevent alcohol-related harms. They found it improved standards in the nightlife industry, with premises now competing to participate. BBN has a high adoption rate with over 75 schemes* throughout the UK and is now being exported to countries internationally.

The purpose of Best Bar None

  • Reduce alcohol-related harms and violence in the nightlife industry
  • Build a positive relationship between the AGLC, licensed establishments, police and local authorities
  • Increase patron safety, to provide exceptional customer experience and to encourage responsible liquor service
  • Bars follow a Checklist covering a wide range of issues that well-managed premises should be aware of and address. The accreditation process includes an evaluation of written policy and staff training, a physical assessment of the room and an interview by trained assessors.
  • Best Bar None bars are re-accredited annually to ensure the standard is consistently met. A BBN-accredited bar will demonstrate its continuing commitment to providing top-notch service in a well-managed and safer environment, encouraging guests to return.

Best Bar None, with permission from Best Bar None UK, was first adopted in Alberta, launching in these cities:

  • Edmonton (2010)
  • Calgary (2012)
  • Grande Prairie (2014)
  • Lethbridge (2017)

The success of Best Bar None in Alberta has since seen the program be exported to Ontario, with a program in Toronto’s Downtown Entertainment District (70 accredited bars and restaurants), Ottawa (26 accredited bars and restaurants) and, just recently, the first accredited nightclub in Windsor.

Don’t forget to check the Best Bar Finder to locate a bar that takes your fun and safety seriously.

*schemes: an officially organized plan or system